Cats are very sensitive to essential oils. But, when used correctly, they can help support your cat’s overall wellness.
Cats lack an enzyme in their liver that causes them to have difficulty metabolizing certain things that humans and dogs can. So whenever you're using essential oils topically with a cat be sure that you are using either a highly diluted essential oil (we’ll tell you which ones to avoid) at 0.5% dilution rate or less, or use a hydrosol (we’ll talk more about that later). There are also some oils you should not diffuse around them as well (see list below).
While we’re good at giving essential oil advice, we’re not vets (or doctors). If your cat has any medical condition or special restrictions be sure to check with your vet before trying essential oils or hydrosols with them. Essential oils or hydrosols should not and do not replace the advice or treatment given by a vet.
After checking with your vet, use your best judgment. Essential oils are a safer option than using synthetically scented candles, sprays, or plugins.
Before using a new essential oil topically on your cat or in the diffuser in the room your cat will be in, be sure to introduce the oil to the cat and see how they respond. Allow your cat to smell the oil with the cap on. Look for a positive response like interest or rubbing their face against it. If they’re not a fan, they’ll walk away.
If you don’t feel comfortable using essential oils with your pet and still want a natural approach, hydrosols are a good option. Hydrosol is the leftover water in the process of extracting the oil part of the plant. This water contains many benefits and is a lot less potent than essential oils. This is especially a good option for small animals.
Simply Earth plans to sell hydrosols and will be releasing our first one in August (woot-woot!). In the meantime, you can make a DIY hydrosol with essential oils (or essential oil water). It won’t have as many beneficial properties because it’s coming from the extracted oil, not the original plant, but it still has a lot of great benefits.
You can apply hydrosols directly on the fur or skin of your animals or incorporate them into any other recipes. Note that water and oil don’t mix, so if you want to create a lotion or balm using a hydrosol, you’ll need to use an emulsifier - aloe vera gel works well for this.
Like we said earlier, cats are sensitive to essential oils, even if they are diffused. When diffusing essential oils, only use 1-2 drops and leave an “escape” or open door so that your cat can leave the room if they don’t like the smell.
Don’t use these oils topically or in a diffuser around cats
Hello everyone! My name is Shilah Roethel, my fur baby’s name is Oliver Benson! He is a Selkirk rex which is why if you see him in the photos (or saw the webinar) he has curly hair!
I just wanted to pop in to tell you how I have been incorporating the Hydrosol into my routine before the cat shows! That’s right I said a “cat show!" Lol. I show Oliver Benson through ACFA (American Cat Fanciers Association). Oliver gets very anxious and antsy before and during the show days. So to help calm him down naturally (some of the other exhibitors will give their cats anxiety medicine which I do not believe in doing) the night before the show, I spray down his bedding and hammock that he brings along to the show with Lavender Hydrosol. I also spray down his carrier. Then after I have sprayed down all of his “things” I will spray his coat down for extra measure. I use about 10 squirts and then gently scrunch his hair to help his curls. If you have a “normal” cat you would just spray the Hydrosol directly onto their fur and massage it into their fur softly. Next, I will bring a small bottle of Lavender Hydrosol along with me to the shows. I spray him down again before he goes up into the show ring and scrunch his fur again.
You can also spray down furniture, or their cat trees at home to help calm down bad behaviors.
If you are wanting to spray down furniture, make sure you spray the Hydrosol on a place where people cannot see it to test to make sure that it does not stain your furniture; it shouldn’t, but you always want to be on the safe side when you are using a new product!
Keep an eye out for these negative reactions that could occur when using essential oils with your cat.
Most adverse reactions clear up within 24 hours once the area is diluted, but for a serious reaction be sure to take your pet to the vet or emergency vet. Store essential oils out of reach from pet as ingesting them could be toxic.
Please note: This post is a compilation of suggestions made by those that have extensively used essential oils and has not been verified scientifically with clinical tests nor reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious medical concerns, please consult your doctor.